Directed by: George Lucas
Premise: In the final installment of the prequel trilogy, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) turns to the dark side and the democratic Republic gives way to the dictatorial Empire.
What Works: This is easily the best film in the prequel trilogy. Hayden Christensen gives a much more mature and interesting performance than he did in Attack of the Clones. The two standout performances of the film are Ian McDiarmid as Chancellor Palpatine and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. These characters play the devil and the angel on Anakin’s shoulders, and the film smartly centers its drama and plot movement on the decisions Anakin makes between these two paths. The story also addresses the major plot gaps between the new trilogy and the original and these gaps are mostly taken care of in satisfactory ways.
What Doesn’t: The dialogue has been improved but it is still clunky in places. At times McDiarmid’s performance goes a little too far over the top and becomes a parody of itself. Also, some key characters from the first two episodes are eliminated from the story very quickly or their fates are not addressed at all.
Bottom Line: Revenge of the Sith is the prequel Star Wars fans have been waiting for. It is not perfect by any means but it does meet or exceed the standard set by the original film.
Episode: #53 (May 22, 2005)